India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement/LBA: Benefits for Bilateral Ties

India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement/LBA: Benefits for Bilateral Ties

Question - Indian Parliament’s ratification of the India Bangladesh LBA/Land Boundary Agreement will contribute to stronger bilateral ties between the two nations. Discuss.

• Indian Parliament’s ratification of the LBA is a sign that India’s Neighbours First policy is working well

• This LBA has paved the way for deeper ties between the two nations

• LBA has been hailed as a new milestone in bilateral relations between the two nations

• Unanimous endorsement of LBA is seen in Bangladesh as attitude of genuine friendship towards India

• It has also created a positive image for India in Bangladesh

• The LBA demonstrates Indian resolve to be a good neighbour for Bangladesh which has also extended support to India through:

• Action against insurgent leaders from India in Bangladeshi territory

• Initiatives for mutual connectivity and boosting of infrastructure

• Indian decision to choose international arbitration to settle maritime boundary with Bangladesh was a gesture of goodwill as nearly 80% of the disputed waters (a precious natural resource) have gone to our nation’s neighbour
• Through establishment of resolve to sort out sensitive sovereignty related issues of land and people displacement, India has demonstrated readiness to deepen bilateral ties with Bangladesh

• Overall relationship of trust and friendship has grown following LBA in the region as well

• Bangladesh’s growing prosperity has doubled trade over the past 5 years with India from USD 2.7 billion to USD 6.1 billion in 2013-2014

• Last year, Bangladeshi exports were pegged at USD 462 million

• Following the LBA, there has been cooperation and investment between the two nations for energy, connectivity and infrastructure

• Example: The Baharampur-Bheramara transmission grid now carries 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh through its 71 km long network. This supply is going to double soon as per estimates

• India has also invested in Bangladesh’’s energy security through investment in power generation.

Facts and Stats

• India and Bangladesh have the following mutually beneficial projects on the anvil:

- 1,320MW coal-fired plant in Rampal, and
- 130-kilometre long ‘Friendship Pipeline’ from Siliguri for supply of I million tonne of diesel on a yearly basis
- P2P initiatives
- Credit commitments for road, rail and waterway projects

About Bangladesh

• Over the past 2 decades, this progressive nation has:

- Lowered absolute poverty by almost half from 60 to 30 percent
- Improved child health care and nutrition services
- Lowered infant and maternal mortality
- Provided greater access to potable drinking water and sanitation facilities
- Attained gender parity in primary as well as secondary education
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